8-1: Republican for Hillary

[I write about politics because of the direct link I see between the words and actions of politicians and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. America’s political class manipulates our military as though they were pawns in a global game of chess. To them, PTSD is merely an unfortunate cost of war.]

In case you missed this incredible speech at the Democratic Convention last week, it is a “must read.” Doug Elmets, the renegade, is as solid a Republican as one can be, having worked as a speech writer in the Ronald Reagan White House. His total defiance and rejection of Donald Trump is music to my ears. It also reminds me that not all members of either party are willing to compromise their core values to win an election at the sake of compromising the country.

Reality Check … and Guts

The speech in toto:

It is an honor to be here. Candidly, It’s also a shock.  Not because of the momentous nature of this event or the size of the crowd, it is a shock because unlike many of you, I’m a Republican.

Forty years ago, I  cast my first vote for a president, voting that day like I would do, time and again. I have not just voted Republican, I worked in President Reagan’s White House. I recently led an effort to place a statue of Ronald Reagan in California’s capital. I’m here tonight to say, I knew Ronald Reagan, I worked for Ronald Reagan. Donald Trump, you are no Ronald Reagan.

President Reagan famously said tear down this wall. Trump says, build a wall, because that will make America great again? Reagan saw nuance and Trump sees the world as us versus them, where somebody with brown skin or a foreign sounding name is likely to blame for our troubles.

Reagan knew that a leader needs diplomacy to steer us safe . Donald Trump is a petulant, dangerously unbalanced reality star. He will coddle tyrants and alienate allies.

I shudder to think where he will lead our great nation. Fortunately, I don’t believe he will get that chance.

While Hillary holds many policy positions different from my own, her qualifications are indisputable. Hillary knows that our strength as a nation lies in uniting, not dividing. This year’s Republican platform is the most alarming I’ve ever seen. It is laced with anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-women positions that do not represent the views of most Americans.

That is why this year, I will vote for a Democrat for the first time.

To my fellow Republicans, if you believe like I do, if you believe that loyalty to our country is more important than loyalty to a party, if you want a president with good judgment, a steady hand and a temperament to represent our nation to the world, and our children, I ask that you join me in voting for Hillary Clinton as president of the United States.

Thank you.

No, Mr. Elmets. Thank you.

5-21: States Rights

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South Rising Again

Texas governor Greg Abbott (R) aims to introduce legislation to amend the US Constitution. The purpose will be to “give states the power to overrule federal law or a Supreme Court decision,” according to the Daily Kos. Gee, isn’t that what the Civil War was fought over, states rights? Slavery was just an aside that happened to be one of the issues the South wished for its states to retain. I guess the time has finally come for citizens from all regions to stop working toward a “more perfect union.”

Here is the list of Abbott’s proposed amendments (with my commentary):

  1. Prohibit Congress from regulating activity that occurs wholly within one State. (So, Mississippi wants to bring back slavery–that’s ok.)
  2. Require Congress to balance its budget. (… except for defense of course. The likes of Bush and Cheney would still, presumably, be able to wage war without paying for it and issue no-bid contracts to the likes of Haliburton to “reconstruct” war zones, all without fiduciary oversight … then balance the rest of the budget.)
  3. Prohibit administrative agencies, and the un-elected bureaucrats that staff them, from creating federal law. (What about all those K Street lobbyists? Are we going to put those poor souls out of work?)
  4. Prohibit administrative agencies, and the un-elected bureaucrats that staff them, from preempting state law. (… by doing what? Repealing the Affordable Health Care Act?)
  5. Allow a two-thirds majority of the States to override a U.S. Supreme Court decision. (What does this do to the “balance of power” we pride ourselves on having at the federal level?)
  6. Require a seven-justice super-majority vote for U.S. Supreme Court decisions that invalidate a democratically enacted law. (I need a point of reference here to understand what is being proposed. Does this mean we, the states, get to vote on whether or not to accept or reject decisions of the Court?)
  7. Restore the balance of power between the federal and state governments by limiting the former to the powers expressly delegated to it in the Constitution. (Sounds reasonable. Where is that not happening now?)
  8. Give state officials the power to sue in federal court when federal officials overstep their bounds. (I wonder if the governor would have been ok with this in the Florida Bush v. Gore debacle.)
  9. Allow a two-thirds majority of the States to override a federal law or regulation. (See 5 above.)

The “balance of power” argument usually comes down to an intentionally strong versus a weak executive branch. And that usually comes down to an ideological fight between liberalism and conservatism (both loosely defined here). Why bother with the Pledge of Allegiance anymore?

… of the united states … one nation … with liberty and justice for all. Continue reading 5-21: States Rights